Year 2, Month 3, Day 13: Could Robert Service Have Written Tales Of The Temperate North?

The Montreal Gazette reports on yet another detailed, comprehensive scientific study showing dramatic, terrifying stuff going on that our policy-makers will resolutely ignore because their paymasters want them to. To wit:

Forecasting profound changes to all Arctic ecosystems “fuelled by human- induced global warming,” the U.S.-led team of scientists has mapped the expected vanishing of moss- and lichen-covered land across much of the Canadian North, where up to 44 per cent of the terrain now classified as tundra could be replaced by invading boreal forest or shrub environments by 2099.

Sent on March 5:

There is plenty to be worried about in the “Climate Dynamics” study, but perhaps the most ominous thing of all isn’t mentioned in the article. Climate change’s devastating impact on the tundra is an ecological disaster-in-the-making, but the real import of this study lies in the fact that here it is not just an individual species that faces extinction, but an entire complex ecosystem extinguished all at once, in the blink of a geological eye. How many slow millennia of life’s adaptation and evolution are to be found in a few square meters of tundra? And how quickly, by contrast, is it to be destroyed? And yet the real tragedy is not restricted to the world’s Northern latitudes; the tundra is only one among many unique and irreplaceable ecologies everywhere around the world that will soon pass into history, as global warming transforms the planet in unexpected ways.

Warren Senders

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